On a fall morning, in October of 2014, Steffaney woke up with unusual pain in her wrist. At the time, Steffaney was only twenty-four years old and as a practicing ER nurse, as well as having been a division 2 athlete in her college years — she was in good health. That first morning with pain, she shrugged it off, thinking she must be sleeping wrong. But when a week passed and the pain didn’t stop, her and her husband began to feel something was unusual. After a few weeks with the pain in her joints beginning to spread, they decided she should consult a doctor….and so her journey began.
Months passed with multiple doctor visits and no answers to the questions they had. Fall transitioned to winter and Steffaney’s joint pain continued getting worse. Friends and family stood behind them in prayer but pain began to feel unbearable. Touch began to hurt. Her husband had to help her get dressed in the morning and bathe. There were moments they would both sit hopelessly crying together feeling, “What if this is our new normal?”
During this time, doctors misdiagnosed Steffaney with what they thought was chronic Lymes disease. Never in their lives did they see this coming. Complications only continued to build when they found out they were pregnant with their first child as this all was unfolding. Joy at the news of pregnancy, mixed with grief and confusion, filled their hearts when they were told no treatment could begin while she was pregnant…so the pain continued for months and they entered into what she described as: Survival Mode.
As a Believer who had witnessed signs and wonders in her life, Steffaney cried out to Him in her quiet time, “If You’re able to heal, why aren’t You healing me God?” While she was 12 weeks pregnant carrying their first child, Stef talks about what she felt during those first months. “I was walking through anger and bitterness towards God.” Her dream was to go overseas to do missions work but suddenly everything was in question if she would ever be able to. She prayed, “I have all these dreams in my heart that I feel You’ve given me and yet I can’t get off the bed…God I don’t understand.” Her current life situation brought confusion and pain both physically and emotionally.
Then it was Spring.
Although pain continued and the wrestle with God was not over, light began to dawn in her heart. One day while spending time in prayer, God spoke these words and it changed everything: “Worship Me because I’m God, don’t worship Me because of what I can do for you.” He was essentially asking: Will you still love Me if your circumstances don’t change?
It was what she needed to hear but it was like a gut punch to her spirit. All this time she realized she had been going to God for the sole reason of what he could do for her: Heal her. God was telling her, don’t focus so much on the healing, come to me because you love Me and let the rest fall into place. He began to change her heart in the midst of her living in the tension. She began to thank God that He was able to use the hardest situations and bring glory to himself through it.
In July of 2015, at 34 weeks pregnant, doctors finally pinpointed what her body had been experiencing. Steffaney was diagnosed with Lupus. Family and friends are continuing to believe for her full healing and since this time Steffaney and her husband have given birth to another child, their hearts are full. When asked what she would say to those struggling with living in the tension of believing for healing yet not seeing it, Steffaney shared these words of wisdom:
God is able to heal. The question is: Is it His will and His timing? Trust in the sovereignty of God and His power. Trust that when it’s time, and when it will bring Him the most glory, you’ll be healed. Ask God for wisdom: What are You doing in this season? Is it for me? Are You bringing me through something? Are You trying to shift or change something in my own heart and life? We have promises in the Scripture that God loves to heal but we also have promises that He’s sovereign in his timing. It’s a delicate balance keeping your heart in this tension. God doesn’t owe us anything. We should all get to a place where we’re able to say, “I love You because You’re God and You’re a good Father to me and You saved me.” What an amazing gift!